As someone who suffers from an acquired brain injury I was disturbed by the blatant disregard for life after a life changing injury. I have been disabled for a long time (cognitively and physically) and I wanted to kill myself at one point in time. But my mom told me something important: “You’re afraid of living.” Which I was.
I couldn’t do the things I did before much like someone with a spinal cord injury. But it doesn’t change who you are. If someone had given me the choice to end my life before my mom’s statement, I wouldn’t be here today. It’s one thing to write about a character in a book killing themselves after an SCI — but people are going to be hurt by that; because you can live a full life, just look at sciontario.org for some examples. Or take a co-op with L’Arche. Chances are you will be working with someone wheelchair-bound and see how happily they are living.
Being afraid of dependency shouldn’t be a problem. Yes, your life changes after becoming a quadriplegic and two years is not enough time to adjust or make a decision to end your life. No two people are the same, but we are all humans who deserve dignity and respect. It isn’t a matter of my opinion before yours. Everyone is allowed to have an opinion. Don’t dismiss those whose opinions differ from yours. Listen to them and lean from them because they are hurt for a reason.
Brenna Gray, Kinesiology 4B